2018 was a year full of growth for Rootstack in all aspects, we increased our staff, we ventured into new challenges and started working with more clients than ever before. Yes, 2018 represented a challenge at the business and project level, but Rootstack, as a software development company, was able to conquer each and every one of them, making 2018 a success.
Among the achievements of this year, we managed to advance in the standardization of our internal processes, getting closer to the goal of having 100% of our internal processes automated and standardized. In addition, we managed to create a project structure oriented towards getting efficient results.
It was also possible to increase our list of regular clients, expanding our market and working with medium and large companies both in Panama and the United States. Not only this, but the complexity of our projects increased, and we were able to carry out much more complex and demanding software development projects during 2018 than in the previous years.
Our presence in technological events was also much stronger this year, reaching a total of six international events during 2018 in which Rootstack was present as Tech Day, Ecommerce Day and we were even sponsors at this year's DrupalCon, contributing and supporting the Drupal community of which we are a part.
We also managed to increase the number of technologies that we use, as well as finally presenting our new product: Rootnet Suite, to the public, something that we are extremely excited about.
Last but not least, our team grew. Today we can say that we went from being a committed team of 32 people to 40 developers, engineers, designers, writers and other figures that make up Rootstack.
During this year, we experienced total growth in all areas: Labor, technology, sales and marketing. For starters, our company grew more than 25%, going from 32 to 40 employees in just one year, and now we have more programmers, software engineers and QAs than in previous years, always looking to add valuable people to our company. Therefore, we currently have a larger internal team with more certified collaborators. In addition, we continue to bet on Panamanian education, with places for newly graduated students.
In terms of sales and marketing, Rootstack experienced an increase in sales locally and internationally, as we said, we are not only working with companies based in Panama such as Felipe Motta and Grupo Rey, or the Panamanian Government and the Tourism Authority of Panama (for who we developed a mobile application that you can see here) but we have also expanded our market to the United States, working with companies located in the USA and getting more regular customers during this 2018.
But of course, not everything is sales. Here at Rootstack we also focus on getting involved in local technology events that promote a learning environment within our community, such as Tech Day and Ecommerce Day, two of the six events in which Rootstack was present during 2018.
Finally, our Rootnet product went on to become a suite of solutions composed of: Rootnet CRM, Rootnet Intranet and Rootnet Service Desk. Expansion that allowed us to reach new customers who needed a solution of this type, and we even had an event to celebrate it! An event in which we presented our new suite to the public and gave an in-depth explanation of each of the modules that make it up.
Here at Rootstack we also focus on making internal changes that benefit our current team and seek to make it grow. We work every day to create a great organizational environment that fills our collaborators and pushes them to give 100% of their work constantly. That is why, during 2018, the following benefits were achieved:
Free lunches four days a week, courtesy of Rootstack.
Foster more extracurricular activities in and out of Rootstack offices (gift exchanges, outings, kareoke nights, happy hour at the end of the month, etc.)
Creation of new manager positions.
Implementation of automation of internal processes for each and every one of our employees.
Improvement of the previous contracting method and related processes.
Increase of our collaborators in the area of QA and Project Manager
During this year we carried out a total of 53 software development projects, of which 20 were projects for local companies in Panama and 33 for companies located in the United States.
As you can see in the next graphs, this year we focus on managing projects with a medium to high complexity, using technologies such as Drupal, Laravel and React as the case may be, although we still manage simple projects if our client requires it. However, it is important to emphasize the way we have grown with respect to our projects, and the direction that is being taken.
This year most of our projects were based on web development and managed services, although we also carried out several mobile development and support projects.
Our goal for 2019 as a nearshore development company is to work with companies that value internal processes and the team of engineers that make up this team, giving them the opportunity to improve over time. We want to continue working with companies that appreciate the nearshore developer as a genuine part of their team, and who understand that we are a vital part of the project for which we were hired.
With respect to the final clients with whom we seek to work, we focus on working with non-problematic clients who know how to value the importance of a software solution. We want to work with companies that seek to be the first in their market, and are open to using the latest technologies and software architectures to achieve this goal.
Finally, we look for companies that understand that the software development process is not a straight line, but that the result of working with a company like Rootstack is worth it.
We have big plans and goals to fulfill for this 2019, among which are:
Grow more within the Latin American market as a company incorporated in this region
Continue to improve our internal processes, as well as the training of our current team
Embarking in much more complex and demanding projects that represent a challenge for our engineers, and serve as an experience for our company.
Undoubtedly, 2018 was a year of changes, challenges and successes, and we can not wait to carry out all of our 2019 goals and achieve another year full of growth on Rootstack.